The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 6, 2010, 11:37 AM   #101
salvadore
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 2,282
You can get burnt out reloading. Guys that tell you they reload just for fun make me nervous. The savings are huge over the long term expecially if you cast. Finding an accurate load for a given firearm is very satisfying. Finding yourself with a trunk full of loaded ammo after the snow flies is frustrating. A person should get started as soon as they determine they wanna shoot a lot.

That's just me tho.
salvadore is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 01:30 PM   #102
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin
One way to save on powder and primers is to get a group of friends and acquaintances together and put in a large group order from Powder Valley or one of the other suppliers. I did that a few years ago. Ended up getting something like 70 pounds of powder and about 55,000 primers, IIRC.

Everyone knew in advance what it was going to cost them, and I informed them in no uncertain terms that they were to bring EXACT change with them. It worked out great. Everyone got exactly what they ordered, the money came out spot on, and I now have enough powder to last me quite awhile.
I have trouble finding anybody to go in with me on an order (they prefer to pay $35 a pound of powder at Gander Mountain, I guess.) So I end up placing a big PVI order just for myself. It's hard to burn up that much powder and primers before it's time to place my next annual order, but I do what I can. Sometimes I have to skip a year. (maybe if I start reloading for a rifle instead of just pistol ammo I could get thru an 8# jug of powder easier...)
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 01:39 PM   #103
Rangefinder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 4, 2005
Posts: 2,017
Reloading is almost a requirement if you intend to shoot a lot and haven't hit the powerball yet. I reload for everything centerfire I own. Since the discussion started about handguns though..... I reload for my .40 S&W shooting 180 cast bullets (I'm a caster, too) for about 3.5 cents a pop. A primer and 4.4gr of Red Dot is all I really need to buy for each squeeze on the trigger, so I can afford quite a bit of those. Not sure where you'd ever find a comparable factory price--I sure haven't.
__________________
"Why is is called Common Sense when it seems so few actually possess it?"

Guns only have two enemies: Rust and Politicians.
Rangefinder is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 05:02 PM   #104
giaquir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Deerfield,New Hampshire
Posts: 507
I think reloading a bullet and hitting
your mark, downing a deer or coyote
is quite satisfying.
Also to me, reloading is quiet and theraputic
and saving a few bucks isn't bad either.
another good point is you can buy just about
any firearm and have ammo for it,even hard to get
stuff cause there is always some magician here
who can tell you how to form brass to meet your needs.
Ron
giaquir is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 07:55 PM   #105
Nevmavrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Location: Sparks, Nevada, near Reno
Posts: 170
effective reloading

When I was 12yo, I talked my mom into letting me buy reloading equipment, so I could shoot my hunting rifle, a .30/30. So...I reloaded so I could shoot.
Now...I'm 63yo and I shoot so I can reload.
Have fun,
Gene
Nevmavrick is offline  
Old December 7, 2010, 09:20 AM   #106
Uncle Buck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2009
Location: West Central Missouri
Posts: 2,592
Reloading started for me as a way I could shoot my .45 Colt more often. I did the math and .85 cents a round verses .23 cents a round sounded like a no brainer. Now that cost in down to about .18 cents a round. (I reload for the .45 Colt, .38 Special, .357 Mag, .30-30 and .30-06 right now. I am sure I will be adding something else in the comming year.)

I have no children, and my wife works nights. Very rarely do I watch TV and being disabled I do not like to travel/go out at night.

I can sit in the reloading room, listening to the radio and reload. I have only bought 200 pieces of new brass (for the .45 Colt). All the other cases I reload are either once fired brass I had saved or bought from others. Most of it was given to me.

With the cold weather setting in, we are only shooting about 100 rounds every other week-end. When the weather warms up, we will shoot much more, so I will continue to reload the empty brass I have on hand,

Instead of being depressed over my situation (Unable to walk, constant pain), I can relax.

I wish I could find some people locally who want to go in on the bulk purchases for reloading components, but I get by with what I have and enjoy it.

When you try to put $$$$ in front of everything you do, you can miss out on the fun things in life. If I had not started reloading, I probably would not have found this site, nor come to enjoy the posts, the rants and silly stuff we all talk about.

That being said, I think I can afford (now) to purchase factory loaded ammo, but choose to reload instead. (I have purchased only two boxes of factory loaded .357 Mag for home defense [which is another thread] in the last two years.)
__________________
Inside Every Bright Idea Is The 50% Probability Of A Disaster Waiting To Happen.
Uncle Buck is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 09:57 AM   #107
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 40,165
Tell me about it, UB.

Some of the cartridges I shoot -- .32-20, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, and .45 Long Colt -- are UNBELIEVABLY expensive.

Last time I bought a box of .41 Magnum ammo was about 8 years ago, and it was $25+ a box of 50 back then.

.44 Special, the CCI Blazers, are currently well over that at the gun shop where I shop. The other gun shops in the area, if they have that caliber, are far worse.

.45 LC is equally as bad as .44 Special. I bought my .45 over the summer, and IIRC I paid $33 and change for a box of 50 cowboy style loads. The few boxes of hunting/defensive ammo they had on the shelf were that much... for TWENTY rounds.

I have NO clue what .32-20 would cost me for a box of 50 -- I haven't seen a box in a gun store in well over a decade.

The gun shows in the area (Washington, DC, metro) were somewhat better, but when ammo prices went to hell a couple of years ago those cartridges dried up (except for .32-20, which was a barren desert at gun shows long before that).

If you shoot something even remotely strange, exotic, or arcane, there's simply no way you can't help but save money by reloading.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 11:36 AM   #108
salvadore
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 2,282
Even worse if you want to shoot something besides the 1000 fps factory 32/20s @ $50 a box. (last time I saw them for sale). I push 100gr jacketed rounds to 2000 fps in my Marlin and cast 115gr @ maybe 1700/1800 fps. NOt to mention swaged hbwc in a Colt OP. The versatality associated with reloading is phenominal.
salvadore is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 01:03 PM   #109
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,416
Quote:
Last time I bought a box of .41 Magnum ammo was about 8 years ago, and it was $25+ a box of 50 back then.
I just inherited a Ruger .41 Magnum, and I was searching for ammo for it -- and nearly had a heart attack when I saw the prices and the poor selection. So I ordered a bag of Starline brass and a 210 grain bullet mold instead. (had some steel dies already that I picked up used a long time ago)

Now I just gotta figure out a good place to start reloading it. Probably about 11.5 grains of Herco...
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 01:10 PM   #110
Brian Pfleuger
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Austin, CO
Posts: 19,429
Quote:
Originally Posted by salvadore
The versatality associated with reloading is phenominal.
That's a point that can not be over-stated. Not just obscure cartridges that practically no longer exist but even mainstay cartridges on every ammo shelf in America. I load for .22-250, .204Ruger, 7mm-08, 10mm Auto and 357sig.

In every one of those cartridges except .204, I load a round that CAN NOT BE BOUGHT anywhere for any price.

Even though I can buy the "same" round I load for .204, the price is $26/20 for commercial rounds versus $6/20 for my own ammo.

Some of those rounds aren't super-common, but the versatility is available for every other round. I could load 110gr 30-06 rounds that you can't buy.... 30gr 22-250.... literally thousands of variants that can not be had commercially.

I just don't see how anyone can say that reloading is NOT cost effective.
__________________
Nobody plans to screw up their lives...
...they just don't plan not to.
-Andy Stanley

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; December 8, 2010 at 01:54 PM.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 01:20 PM   #111
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 40,165
For lead bullets I've had good success using WW 231 for moderate loads and WW 296 and AA 7 for varying strength magnum loads in my .41.

If I REALLY want to get all boomy, I use 21.0 (TWENTY ONE) grains of 296 and a 210-gr. jacketed bullet.

Gives me around 1500 - 1550 fps., I think.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 02:50 PM   #112
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,416
In .45 Colt, my favorite load is about 1050 fps with a 230 grain cast bullet (you can't buy a load like that, you have to make it yourself.) For bigger boomers, I load 255's at 1200 to 1300 fps. I wimp out at about 1350, but that's also where leading starts to be a problem.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 03:29 PM   #113
700cdl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2010
Posts: 216
Not cost effective?

I've been loading for nearly 30 years and over that time frame I've watched in horror as the prices of components has gone sky high. But, other than the initial start up costs, dies, press, scale, clapers, and all of the other much needed start ups hand loading is still better than 50% cheaper to shoot than factory. Not only is it cheaper, but you will quickly become drawn into the process by the quality control factor that is completely in your hands. One of the first things I tell individuals interested in hand loading is don't decide to do it if economics is your only reason or motivation. I load for some rather expensive cartrudges and produce a standard that can't be found on a shelf. For my 7mm rem. mag. the closest quality match I can find for what I'm building is in the $60 to $80 range and would require me have Norma or some other custom loader to produce it. I am rather confident my above estimate is severely low balled too. I load the same stuff they will put together for me for about $12 a box. Same story for my .357 mag, my .40 cal, 9mm, .270. Anyone that is skeptical or primarily interested for economics as I said is not suited for hand loading and should not ever consider it again. Its a very exact process even if you are building a light charge cartridge.
700cdl is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 03:38 PM   #114
700cdl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2010
Posts: 216
Powder

Hi ZXCVBOB,
First mistake is shoping at Gander Mountain, same to be said for Bass Pro shops. Those are the places to avoid for hand loading components. I've never spent more than $25 for a pound of powder and that was a one time experience. Most powder is in the $15 to $20 range and can found consistently at those prices without any problem. I load with Alliant, IMR, Winchester, Hogdon, just to mention the ones I use the most often. RL products line can be expensive ($21. lb.).
700cdl is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 04:03 PM   #115
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,416
I sometimes buy 1-pounders of powder that I want to try at the local independent gun shop. But mostly I put together a $200 order from PVI about once a year -- try to coincide with a sale on primers or some powder that I want.

A few months ago, I paid $18.50/k for a *bunch* of primers, and $13.90 for a pound of Power Pistol, and $25 for a 2.2 lb can of Rex III powder (Czech single-base equivalent of Universal Clays.) I didn't need any more 8#'s of powder this time, but those 2 small cans rode along on the same hazmat as the primers.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 04:19 PM   #116
Stevie-Ray
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: The shores of Lake Huron
Posts: 4,783
I saved a fortune over the years reloading .45 ACP, one of the best for reusing brass, and never even got into casting, but had a decent source for cast bullets and bought them by the thousands. I then started reloading 10mm and didn't save quite as much due to all my bullets being jacketed, and brass being only used a few times, but there was quite a savings there also. There was also some pride and perfect consistency in my shooting. When I move in the next year or so, I fully expect to be in full swing reloading, and hopefully this time, casting as well.
__________________
Stevie-Ray
Join the NRA/ILA
I am the weapon; my gun is a tool. It's regrettable that with some people those descriptors are reversed.
Stevie-Ray is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 04:32 PM   #117
Doodlebugger45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,717
Someone else mentioned the versatility as well. I will often load up some .480 Ruger rounds that push a 325 gr cast bullet at about 950-1000 fps just to get more shooting time from my revolver without punishing my hand with the full power stuff. No way to buy that in a store.

And I recall getting a new .357 revolver and wanting to experiment to see what kind of ammo it shot best and what felt the best to me. So I loaded up a variety for myself. Can you imagine the look you would get if you went into a store and said I want the following rounds, all loaded up in .357 brass:

24 of them with 135 gr cast SWC running at about 1000 fps (you make them in multiples of 6 because it's annoying to have 2 "extra" rounds from a box of 20 or 50),

About 30 rounds loaded with a hard cast 158 gr bullet running at 900 fps,

30 more loaded with a 158 gr bullet at a velocity of around 1200 fps,

24 more loaded with a 158 gr jacketed HP at a velocity of 1550 fps or so,

And finally I want about 24 of them loaded with a 180 gr hard cast at 1400 fps.

Oh, and I want those 132 rounds for about $24 as well.
Doodlebugger45 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07781 seconds with 10 queries